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Vote No on I-522 (Washington)
FACTS ABOUT I-522
It’s not what it seems to be…
The promoters of Initiative 522 on Washington’s November 2013 statewide ballot claim it’s just a “simple” proposal to require the labeling of “genetically engineered” foods. In fact, I-522 is a complicated, costly measure that is not what it seems.
I-522 would mandate special food labeling regulations in Washington that don’t exist in any other state.
For decades, agricultural biotechnology has helped improve food crops so they resist disease, require fewer pesticides or are more nutritious. Today, 70-80% of grocery products include genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, and they’re deemed safe by the USDA, the FDA and major scientific and medical organizations.
I-522 would require thousands of these common products to have special new labels—only for Washington—while giving special exemptions to thousands of others, even when they contain GE ingredients.
I-522’s arbitrary labeling requirements and exemptions make no sense.
I-522 requires fruits, vegetables and grain-based products to be labeled, but exempts meat and dairy products from animals fed GE grains. It mandates special labels and signs for foods containing GE ingredients when they are sold in supermarkets, but it exempts restaurants from providing information about GE ingredients in their foods.
Foods imported from foreign countries would be exempt if manufacturers simply claim they’re exempt. So I-522 would not even give consumers a reliable way of knowing which foods contain GE ingredients and which don’t.
So I-522 would not even give consumers a reliable way of knowing which foods contain GE ingredients and which don’t.
Meanwhile, existing food labels already give consumers a way to choose foods made without GE ingredients if that’s what they prefer, by simply buying foods labeled as “organic” or“non-GMO.”